The Longest Shortest Time
I will never be ok with this whole "time" thing.
as she waxes and wanes
hang the moon in chains
nail down the hands of the insolent clock
that the tides should halt
that the chalk and salt
should hold fast to the hills, arrested in rock
aren't i enchanting?
you can't look away
i've taken your finest years
i've taken your days
in the western sky
the sun lives and dies
bound to its fate in crimson and gold
in a humble room
with her thread and loom
a young mother stitch by stitch will grow old
when each moment tips
and your presence dips
back to the slow ostinato of days
when the wine drinks itself
and puts you on the shelf
retreat while you can to your mortar and clay
and the bricks will shift
and the sands will sift
the bloom of your breath is what holds you aloft
and the cats will pace
and your mind will race
the nightime is hard but darling i'm soft
I always end up writing about the passage of time - it makes me sick and giddy, like that feeling when you think there's another step at the bottom of the stairs but there's nothing there.
On December 2nd 2015, in a bathroom stall at my office, I found out that I was pregnant. (The choice of venue was truly not my best decision.) Since then, time has become even more viscous and warped - this strange elastic quality to life that I find truly terrifying. Minutes crawl by painfully and then you look up and where did six months go? Going through pregnancy, childbirth and life with a newborn (at the time of writing Katie is two months old) has brought a new wretched, visceral yankiness to how I experience time and how I see others move through it. This song is about that.
I got the name for this song from a brilliant podcast hosted by Hillary Frank that discusses "life after giving life." I have never heard quite such an appropriate phrase to describe this rite of passage. Listen here!